Thanks for a fun week. Now, ‘goodbye’

Snow accumulates on the heads of Super Bowl Live attendants on Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis on Saturday. Evan Frost | MPR News

In Minnesota, it’s OK to have a different opinion so long as it’s not about Minnesota, or the use of Prince as a hologram.

Darren Rovell, the ESPN business reporter, got under Minnesotans’ skins this weekend when he assessed Minnesota’s standings in the Super Bowl hierarchy.

Rovell, who was in town from Tuesday through Saturday, didn’t say Minnesotans weren’t nice. He didn’t say we don’t love our children, hockey isn’t fun, merging on highways is easy, or even that Minnesota did a bad job of putting on Super Bowl LII or even that nobody showed up to experience it this year.

It’s true that the majority of media who came to the Twin Cities to cover the cold Super Bowl spent most of the week in the warm embrace of the Mall of America food court, but Rovell is right when it comes to what he actually said.

Given the choice between the warmth of, say, South Beach and the cold climate of Nicollet Mall in January, corporate America — and this week is all about corporate America — would choose to be in the warmth. And we know that’s true, too, as the departure line at the airport at this time of the year shows.

Minnesota is not on a Super Bowl circuit the way Phoenix, and New Orleans, and Miami are. The Super Bowl didn’t come to Minneapolis because Minneapolis is a fun place in winter. It came here as a payback for the politicians agreeing to a stadium shakedown that kept one of the league’s owners — in this case, the Wilfs — rolling in cash.

No matter how much fun people had this week, this was a one-off, which, ironically, is the very fact that drew some locals to events around the Twin Cities. They may not happen again.

There’s nothing wrong with that unless we live with a constant need to be validated for our choice of a home state with nothing but glowing reviews.

And let’s be honest: It is too cold here sometimes. And we like it when outsiders say it and then marvel that we live here at all. It makes us special.

To fill that need, we have Chad Johnson, the former star for the Cinncinati Bengals, who seemed to show up this week ready to hate the weather.

He bought a big winter coat (leaving the tags on so he could get his $200 back when he left on Saturday night). And found this place is OK. By Saturday morning, he left the coat in his hotel room, and went for a walk outside while proclaiming his love for Minnesota.

Let’s be clear. Minnesota did a fine job hosting the Super Bowl, such as it was; Minnesotans were the gracious hosts everyone knew they’d be. But Monday brings a big sigh of relief that everyone’s gone and left us alone until the sunlight increases and we’re able to let a different opinion slide again.

In the meantime, have a cookie and just enjoy where you live.